High Ability Learners are learning the importance of hard work and diligence by coding robots.

Last week, fourth and fifth grade HAL students from across the district programmed robots they built and put them through a series of challenges during a two-day seminar.

For two days, students built their Lego Mindstorms EV3 robots and after tinkering with the design, created courses for the robots and put them to the test.

Kaitlyn Cattau, elementary HAL facilitator, said she enjoys watching students be engaged in robotics.

“It’s something they are really passionate about,” she said

Cattau said the project allows students to express their creativity.

After the robots were built, students were encouraged to make them unique by adding elements such as wings or pieces to add a splash of color to make theirs stand out.

Throughout the day, students put their robots through each course making them spin and weave in and out of obstacles.

“As they go through the challenges, they get to decide what changes they want to make to their robot,” Cattau said.

Doing this activity, Cattau said, also helps unite students from different schools who share the same interests.

“A lot of them are working with a new partner they didn’t know,” she said.

It also gives them a chance to expand on lessons they are learning during regular class time at their schools.

“There’s a lot of math and science things they incorporate into their robot, a lot of things that they are doing back at their school and it gives them that more authentic, real-world learning experience,” Cattau said.

Cattau said she is happy to see more girls interested in coding and programming.

“That’s exciting just because a lot of times, in the work field, there’s not very many girls who are doing coding and robotics and that kind of thing,” she said.

Boy or girl, Cattau said she just wants students to learn more about technology.

“Our hope is that our kids will come and learn something new and different about robotics each time,” she said. “I hope it inspires them a little bit to get to using more technology in the future.”

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